When we bought our 1905 house, it had transom. It was actually covered in wood and we restored it! Since then, I’ve wanted to add more transom window, but stained glass for extra pizazz! If you’ve ever wanted a stained glass transom I’ll show where to buy the glass and how to install it.
how to install a stained glass transom window
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:
If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. I’d be over the moon happy if you subscribed to my YouTube channel! Videos are actually released on YouTube first (usually the night before they’re published on the blog). Thank you!
How much did this project cost? I spent $225 on one stained glass window. The wood and screws we had on hand. I bought the trim and spent about $8 on that. Per window I spent $233. This is not a “cheap” project, but it is a custom one that adds to the character of the house. Totally worth it for me!
If you don’t have any of the supplies, I estimate that a stained glass transom window this size would cost $300.
stained glass transom window round up
I spent many hours looking for the stained glass I used. After searching, I ended up getting a somewhat custom stained glass transom window on Etsy through this seller. She made the size and color I wanted with a pattern she already does. Because of how she ships and the size I need, the window came in three parts. For smaller windows, that wouldn’t be the case.
After working with Linda, I’d 100% recommend her stained glass! She’s fast, her prices are fair, and the customer service is great.
Besides showing her shop, I thought I’d share some other options I considered. There’s lots of really pretty stained glass transom windows out there!
step 1- prep
Since this is going in a room that’s under construction and we recently framed in the walls, this is what the top of the door looked like when we began. If doing this project in an existing space, begin by cutting out the drywall above the door.
Once the wall is prepped, measure the stained glass. Since ours is made by an artist, it isn’t perfectly rectangular. So we measured the widest parts. Mine is 28″ wide by 10″ tall.
step 2- cut wood for a box
Next, cut wood with a miter saw to make a box around the stained glass. Cut two pieces for the sides at the same height as the stained glass- so 10″ for mine. Then, cut two pieces of wood for the top and bottom- this should be the width of the stained glass plus the width of the wood used. Our measurement is 29 1/2″ (the wood we use is 3/4″ thick).
We kept is simple by not mitering the corners. Just straight 90 degree cuts are needed! Because of that, this is a very easy build.
Now, cut the wood so it’s the same width as the wall. For this, we used a table saw to trim the four pieces of wood to 4 1/2″ wide.
step 3- build the box
And next, let’s put the box together! Start by pre-drilling holes for the screws.
Then, drill the screws into the wood. We used 3 screws on the top and the bottom of each side of the box for a total of 12 screws. This is one secure box- lol!
Just like that, you have a box to hold the stained glass.
Here’s a close up image to better see what the screws look like. And a better look at the simple construction.
step 4- add trim to hold the glass in
Now that the box is done, trim is needed to hold the glass in place. First, draw a line on the center of the inside of the box.
Next, cut the trim and nail it in right outside the line.
Once one side of trim is in, test a piece of stained glass for the placement of the next round of trim. Nail in the top and three sides.
Because our stained glass came in 3 pieces, we could slide it in this way and then later glue in the last supporting piece of wood.
Now the box is complete and it’s time to install it into the wall. This is exciting because it looks so pretty!
step 5- put box in wall
Finally, we took the glass out of the box and nailed the box above the door. My husband added framing to the top of the box so it’d fit in perfectly.
Once the box is in, add the glass in and glue in the last piece of trim.
If needed, the box can be installed with the glass in it. It’s just a little more risky that way. I really didn’t want my fancy expensive glass to break, so we were cautious.
And here is how the stained glass transom windows look now that they’re installed!
I love symmetry so I think the two doors (one leads to a hall and one leads to the closet) with the glass above them is really pretty.
Here’s the inspiration image. A fireplace will go between the doors and I think it’ll be so charming! We just need to build that fireplace now.
Anyway, I LOVE having these in! They were the first pretty progress in the room. We needed to get them up so the drywall could be finished. The windows are absolutely worth the splurge for me. What do you think?
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